GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The Scooter Store promises people a more mobile life, WZZM 13 On Your Side has learned the company is under investigation by the government for fraud.
A Grand Rapids woman contacted us, saying she received a bad scooter, that had not been repaired by the Scooter Store. Then the company went out of business, leaving her to cover the cost of repairs.
"I feel cheated, I feel lied to, taken advantage of," Laura Castle says.
Castle bought her chair from the Scooter Store, seen in TV commercials, but she says her scooter started stalling.
"I'm afraid of going anywhere for fear I'd get stranded," Castle says.
The Scooter Store spent months fixing it, but Castle says it was returned broken, and the store soon closed -- forcing her to go elsewhere and foot a $400 bill.
Bankruptcy documents show Castle is not alone. The Scooter Store liquidated after the government began investigating the company for medicaid fraud.
Phil Catlett from the Better Business Bureau explains-- "A lot of seniors were being pushed to buy scooters they probably didn't need, and the majority of it was being paid out of Medicare."
In fact, the company's ad encourages the disabled to call. Castle says when she made that call, the salesman told her to say things like she couldn't feed herself, and that it was procedure.
"They said, 'I'll ask you the questions then guide you through on how to answer these questions'," says Castle
To get answers, and Castle's money back, we called The Scooter Store, but got a recording saying if people's scooters needed to be fixed to call your insurance company.
As the government continues to investigate, Castle -- and others -- will likely be left to foot the bill. Experts say during liquidation most customers and taxpayers never see a dime.
Last month, the company announced it's would shut down for good and liquidate it's assets. But take a look at the statement that's still on their website. It says the Scooter Store is going through "a business revitalization" that's in partnership with government and mobility industry expectations. The website goes on to say locations are still open and serving customers. But it may be a good idea to save yourself a headache and check with your doctor for motorized wheelchair or scooter suggestions.
WZZM/WFMY News 2